Soyuz landing capsule safely brings ISS trio back to Earth (PHOTOS)
Russian cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin, American Nick Hague, and the first Emirati astronaut, Hazzaa al-Mansoori – all members of Expedition 60 – departed the ISS earlier on Thursday aboard the Soyuz spacecraft.
Roscosmos and NASA mission control centers observed the capsule as it left orbit and started rapid descent into the lower atmosphere. Several kilometers above the desolate steppes of northern Kazakhstan, it deployed parachutes, lowering airspeed and struggling against gravity.
Shortly after the Soyuz reached the surface, the capsule was unsealed and the space trio was evacuated by a rescue team.
Ovchinin, Hague, and Al-Mansoori docked at the ISS on September 25, spending over a week in space. The space station is now manned by Russian, American, and Italian crew members.
Люки между кораблем #СоюзМС12 и стыковочным узлом модуля «Рассвет» закрыты. Расстыковка корабля с МКС планируется в 10:37 мск//The hatches between the #SoyuzMS12 spacecraft and the ISS are closed. Undocking is planned at 07:37 UTC pic.twitter.com/So0evZNkPr— РОСКОСМОС (@roscosmos) October 3, 2019
The smooth landing was watched closely as it comes on the heels of technical failures that have tarnished the Soyuz program. Last October, Ovchinin and Hague experienced a mid-flight issue shortly after take-off, and initiated an emergency landing at over 50 kilometers (31 miles).
The spaceship’s emergency system worked flawlessly and both landed unharmed. Fellow astronauts that witnessed the aborted lift-off from aboard the ISS praised the Soyuz’s reliability and thanked the rescue workers who promptly arrived at the landing site.Also on rt.com Moment Soyuz rocket failed captured on camera from SPACE (PHOTOS)
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